The best part of my day — a hard day — was dissecting a forgotten necklace on the ground with a small Indian girl eating at my restaurant. No more than 5, she was bursting with life. Real, untainted joy. This treasure of nothing more than a broken sterling silver chain was her goldmine. But instead of taking it when I tried to place it in her hands, she asked, “Who’s is this? We should give it back to them.”
It was a tiny silver chain, severed in half, with small clasps on each end. Whoever had lost it probably did so on purpose, I assured her. So broken it couldn’t possibly be fixed.
I walked away from her when her brother, not much older than her, burst through the bathroom door. “Ready!” He screamed, as he paraded into her tiny shoulder-blade. I left the silver chain in the little girl’s right fist, and walked away to continue the cycle of waiting — that is, on my tables (but ironic if compared to my current job/life situation)
The girl and the silver chain were forgotten into the wreckage that was another day, another dollar, another pain. But as I sat down at my computer tonight, feeling the urge to write for the first time in months, the little girl’s face-up palms, dangling, tangled silver chain, and scrunchy smile popped back into my mind.
How I long for that joy. Something so pure as to find a treasure; lost.
How I ache to be the person who would want to find whoever lost their broken, silver chain… Instead of instantaneously thinking: how much is this worth? or, mine. mine. mine.
I love children because they see the things that we so often miss. The things that we have forgotten are important, that somehow our status as “adult” makes it easier to forget. And what is it about getting older that makes us need to drug ourselves to experience happiness?
“Everything is an adventure when you’re high.” they all say, convicted.
How do we go from discovering lost necklaces in crowded restaurants like Indiana Jones uncovering the Holy Grail to needing a drink just to connect with our own friends? Getting high just to enjoy our own lives.
“Whoever lost it, she promised, it was probably on purpose. It’s broken, see? as she held it out for her shiny, black galactic eyes to take in. It can’t be fixed.”